Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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iPad Mini 64GB 4G AT&T
Josh 2014
joshdavis
SUMMARY
If you need something big, with a lot of detail, then get something big. If you need something small, then get something small, but any limitations will really be based on your Eye-Mark-II. Glare will be a problem for any consumer grade portable LCD, so if you need something really solid, then a Garmin *95 or *96 type unit would be the way to go. If ForeFlight and WingX would move to Android, then you can get comparable devices for half the cost. Next Galaxy tablet will probably be in the $350 range with a way better screen for direct sunlight.

RAMBLY DETAILS
My 4G iPad mini showed up today. Initial was "will ship mid-November". When it finally shipped, the delivery date was Nov 23. FedEx showed Nov 26 because Apple Shanghai had a late hand-off. So, you know, 3-6 days early is good.

The Lightning connector is a little more robust than I thought it would be. The unit is light, but not flimsy. The SmartCover has a fuzzy maglock instead of metal, so that's a nice improvement over the original SmartCover's scratchy design.

Restore was a little faster, but copying apps and music is the same speed as for the iPad 2 - at least perceptually. I didn't measure it last time, but it's not zipping past. It would be nice if the Mini supported USB3, though I guess that would require an 8-channel or better SSD, rather than what, 2 channels for the 32 and 64GB models.

Anyway, in the time I was distracted, my sync completed other than a handful of apps belonging to Erica's account, and the Cydia apps I had.

There's a Dev-based jailbreak for the iPad Mini, so by end of year, there should be a solid, working system, minus the non-dev part. Maybe they'll get lucky, but losing one of the major jailbreakers to Apple Dev may delay a standalone and/or untether to mid-2013. Non-Jailbreak seems much snappier, so probably best to keep it stock anyway.

The aspect ratio doesn't match plates nor AFD, so there will be black bars on the sides. I'd expect the text to be too small for most people in-cockpit. You can pinch and drag, but that's more of a pre-flight thing than an in-flight activity. To read small numbers on the plates, you have to hold it up to your face. Small screen is small. BUT, the text is crisp and legible. There's no way this would work for WingX split screen unless you were a glutton for punishment, or just looking at gross details.

Screen is a little better than the iPad2, but it's smaller. It's not the same size as any of the Android tablets (7.9" vs 7.0"), so any ram mount or case will be unique. It's thin and light.

I have an anti-glare protector on it, but haven't taken it in the sun yet. It's pretty bright in the house, but that's subjective. Summer light would be a better test, because current light is pretty oblique, so it'll be almost perpendicular to the tablet when it's mounted. Autobrightness still sucks, but the range of manual brightnesses seems good.

Battery is 16Wh vs the iPad2 25Wh, though the screen is proportionally smaller. Lifespan seems pretty close, but if the CPU got into a spin lock, it could be shorter life.

GPS supports GLONASS also (Russian system, 10m worldwide, 0.6m Russia & Arctic).

The tablet seems more responsive than my iPad2 was, so that helps.

Text Box (X) buttons for clearing text are scaled, and I find my fat fingers have difficulty activating them.

Compared to my Galaxy-Tab 2 7", this is a little larger width wise, but about the same height. Better app selection (though I haven't looked for decent Android aviation apps in a while). GPS gets a quick lock, and WiFi seems to stay connected better than my Android 4.0. Price is about $100 higher for the iOS device, though for Android, you can get GPS without having to pay for a cellular modem. If you use an external GPS, then no problem, but otherwise, that puts the iOS device at about double the cost of the Galaxy tab. Gtab2 7" is $200 now, and the GPS works fine. Comes with wimpy memory, but has a micro-SD slot, so upgrades are cheap. iPad Mini, well, it's fixed flash, so pick up the 32GB at least so you can fit maps. Then, pick up the 4G model so you can have GPS. Suddenly, you're at $500.

The Galaxy S4 is estimated to be due in February, and have a 4.5-5" AMOLED screen. That'll be a pretty awesome device, and my boss and I are both up for renewals already. Might still be too early for me to switch for my main phone, but maybe not. Most of my iOS specific stuff is just on my tablet (aviation maps). Maybe the Galaxy Tab 3 will go back to an AMOLED screen, which would completely win for in-cockpit readability, but I really like ForeFlight and WingX which are still iOS I think.

Updated: 2012-11-21 02:42:20

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I am really VERY curious about how you feel the flight apps look on it. specifically how the plates look... I'm still thinking about one for doing my IFR with, it'd fit in the traveler a lot easier than the ipad will.

keep it us up on how you feel it's working.

The aspect ratio doesn't match plates nor AFD, so there will be black bars on the sides. I'd expect the text to be too small for most people in-cockpit. You can pinch and drag, but that's more of a pre-flight thing than an in-flight activity. To read small numbers on the plates, you have to hold it up to your face. Small screen is small. BUT, the text is crisp and legible. There's no way this would work for WingX split screen unless you were a glutton for punishment, or just looking at gross details.

Screen is a little better than the iPad2, but it's smaller. It's not the same size as any of the Android tablets (7.9" vs 7.0"), so any ram mount or case will be unique. It's thin and light.

I have an anti-glare protector on it, but haven't taken it in the sun yet. It's pretty bright in the house, but that's subjective. Summer light would be a better test, because current light is pretty oblique, so it'll be almost perpendicular to the tablet when it's mounted. Autobrightness still sucks, but the range of manual brightnesses seems good.

Battery is 16Wh vs the iPad2 25Wh, though the screen is proportionally smaller. Lifespan seems pretty close, but if the CPU got into a spin lock, it could be shorter life.

GPS supports GLONASS also (Russian system, 10m worldwide, 0.6m Russia & Arctic).

The tablet seems more responsive than my iPad2 was, so that helps.

Text Box (X) buttons for clearing text are scaled, and I find my fat fingers have difficulty activating them.


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